Supplement and errata

Supplement

I planned to add a table documenting modern sightings of the Chinese wildman (yeren) as an appendix to my scholarly monograph (Smith, 2021). I didn’t finish it in time when I sent my manuscript to Sino-Platonic Papers; the table (of 31 reported sightings) is reproduced below.

Date of sightingLocationClosest distance of eyewitness(es) approx.NotesSource(s)
1940Gansu Province?Alleged yeren corpse observed lying beside roadGreen, 1984: 88–90; Dong, 1984: 175–176
1942Hubei Province?Eyewitness (13 years old) claims soldiers captured a yerenJaivin, 1985: 30
1947Hubei Province?Wren, 1984; Shackley, 1986: 86–87
1950Shaanxi Province650 feet (200 meters)No clear line of sight because of dense forestDong, 1984: 177
1950Shaanxi Province?Alleged yeren infant and mother came “very close”Dong, 1984: 177
October 1964 Sichuan Province100 feet (30 meters)Mute eyewitness; communication by hand-signallingGreenwell & Poirier, 1989: 49
October 1964 Sichuan Province 300 feet (90 meters)Greenwell & Poirier, 1989: 49
1970Hunan Province?Bord & Bord, 1984: 63
May 1975 Hubei Province?Eyewitness says alleged yeren was “standing not far” awayBord & Bord, 1984: 64
May 1976Hubei Province6 feet (2 meters)Six eyewitnesses; Shennongjia forestry workersGreenwell & Poirier, 1989: 48
June 1976 Hubei Province20 feet (6 meters)Green, 1984: 90; Dong, 1984: 180
October 1976 Hubei Province?Alleged yeren spotted walking “dozens of meters” awayDong, 1984: 181
June 1977Shaanxi Province5-6 feet (1-2 meters)Green, 1984: 90–91; Dong, 1984: 190
July 1977 Shaanxi Province12 feet (3-4 meters)A ditch seperated the alleged yeren and eyewitnessGreen, 1984: 91; Janet & Bord, 1984: 66
August 1977Sichuan Province50 feet (15 meters)Dong, 1984: 186–187
August 1977Sichuan Province130 feet (40 meters)Unreliable eyewitnesses, mainly reported hearing a soundDong, 1984: 187
March 1978Guizhou Province?Alleged yeren is said to have thrown wood on a campfireWren, 1984
September 1979Hubei Province1-3 feet (1 meter)Alleged yeren is said to have grabbed the eyewitnessWren, 1984
1980Hubei Province4-5 feet (1-2 meters)Green, 1984: 91
Feburary 1980 Hubei Province200 feet (60 meters)Jaivin, 1985: 38
Feburary 1980 Guizhou Province?Eyewitness claims to have caught a yeren in a trapWren, 1984
May 1981Sichuan Province25-30 feet (8-10 meters)Two eyewitnesses; both young children (8 years old)Greenwell & Poirier, 1989: 49
April 1981 Sichuan Province10 feet (3 meters)Greenwell & Poirier, 1989: 49
September 1981Hubei Province3300 feet (1000 meters)Long distance sighting from peak of a mountainJaivin, 1985: 38
September 1993Hubei Province90 feet (27 meters)Zan, 2007 
1995Guangxi7-10 feet (2-3 meters)Krantz, 1997–1998
1995Guangxi?Alleged yeren “somewhat farther away” than 2-3 metersKrantz, 1997–1998
April 1995Hubei Province1600 feet (500 meters)The eyewitness says he used binocularsMeldrum & Zhou, 2012: 58
June 2003Hubei Province?Eyewitnesses claimed to have seen a yeren run across roadZan, 2007 
September 2005Hubei Province50 feet (15 meters)Meldrum & Zhou, 2012: 58
November 2007 Hubei Province164 feet (50 meters)No clear line of sight; two alleged yerens behind shrubberyZan, 2007

Errata

On page 7, “50 percent” should read “over 50 percent” (Poirier estimated 52%).

On pages 2, 10 and 16 “A Brief History…” should read “A Brief Bestiary…”.

On page 16 there is a slightly incorrect title for a Grover Krantz paper (see below).

References

Bord, Janet and Bord, Colin. The Evidence for Bigfoot and Other Man-Beasts, The Evidence Series in collaboration with ASSAP (Wellingborough: The Aquarian Press, 1984).

Dong, Paul. The Four Major Mysteries of Mainland China (NJ: Prentice-Hall, 1984).

Green, John. “The Search in China for Unknown Hominoids” in Markotic, Victor (ed.), The Sasquatch and Other Unknown Hominoids (Calgary: Western Pub., 1984), 87–99.

Greenwell, Richard and Poirier, Frank. “Further Investigations into the Reported Yeren: The Wildman of China”, Cryptozoology 8 (1989): 47–57.

Krantz, Grover S. “A New Yeren Investigation in China [1995]”, Cryptozoology 13 (1997–1998): 88–93; Bigfoot Sasquatch Evidence (Surrey BC: Hancock House, 1999).

Jaivin, Linda. “Is There a Wildman?”, Asiaweek (May 24 1985): 26–39.

Meldrum, Jeff and Zhou, Guoxing. “Footprint Evidence of the Chinese Yeren”, The Relict Hominoid Inquiry 1 (2012): 57–66.

Shackley, Myra. Still Living? Yeti, Sasquatch and the Neanderthal Enigma (New York: Thames and Hudson, 1986), see also Wildmen (New York: Thames and Hudson, 1983).

Smith, Oliver D. “The Wildman of China: The Search for the Yeren”Sino-Platonic Papers no. 309 (2021): 1–17.

Zan, Jifang. “Hubei Bigfoot–Fact or Fiction?”, Beijing Review (December 20 2007).

Errata

In my article “The Atlantis Story: An Authentic Oral Tradition”, I wrote the following:

Timaeus-Critias (c. 355 BCE) was among Plato’s last written dialogues. Forsyth (1980: 77) has
surveyed his earlier works to see if he recorded any authentic Greek traditions. With the
possible exception of a single tale (Gorgias. 523a-e), there are no stories recognisable as
traditional myths.

Brisson (1998) has compiled all the mentions of muthos (myth) in Plato’s dialogues:

  • 87 occurrences of the word muthos (myth).
    • 69 with the meaning of “story, tale”.
      • 19 non-particular traditional stories.
      • 23 particular traditional stories (Greek myths).
      • 27 made up stories by Plato (Platonic myths).

The former non-Platonic myths (42) include:

  • 19 occurrences, of which “refer in a general way to myths told in ancient Greece” (Crat. 408c; Gorg. 505c; Laws. 3. 699d; 8. 840c; Phlb. 14a; Stat. 272c; Rep. 1. 350e; 2. 376d, 377a–c, 378e, 379a; 3. 391e, 398b) but not particular tales (e.g., the myth of Phaethon).
  • 23 occurrences of particular traditional stories including Phaethon’s myth and flood of Deucalion* (Ti. 23b, 22c; Laws. 11. 927c; 7. 804e; 9. 865d; 3. 682a, 683d; Rep. 2. 381e; Laws. 1. 636c–d; Rep. 1. 330d; 3. 386b; Laws. 4. 712a, 719c; 9. 872e; 11. 913c; 12. 944a; Rep. 8. 565d). Brisson (1998) unlike Forsyth (1980) – does not consider the story of the judgement of dead (Gorg. 523a) to be a genuine Greek myth, but a story Plato made up. The story nevertheless uses motifs, places (i.e., Tartarus), gods, from Greek mythology.

*Brisson incorrectly includes the flood of Deucalion among the list (19) of non-particular stories.

The 19 occurrences of non-particular stories include old wives tales and fables so should not be lumped in with the 23 tales of Greek mythology based on gods, heroes, rituals etc. I made a mistake asserting Plato did not record any of the latter myths (with possible exception of the judgment of dead) prior to Timaeus-Critias which mentions the myth of Phaethon (Ti. 22c) and flood of Deucalion (Ti. 23b). The Laws (c. 350 BCE) were written after Timaeus-Critias (c. 355 BCE), but in his Republic (c. 375 BCE), Plato records 5 particular traditional myths including a tale about a shine of Zeus Lykaios in Arcadia (Rep. 8. 565d; Paus. 8. 38. 7).

References

Brisson, Luc. Plato the Myth Maker (Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1998).

Forsyth, Phyllis Y. Atlantis: The Making of Myth (London: Croom Helm, 1980).